The Irony of Freedom of Expression

First, let me start this by saying that I am a big fan of freedom of expression. I actually hate censorship. I really believe that every person should have the right to share or receive any kind of information, including opinions – whether it’s true or false, good or bad.

However, in this era of internet, it seems that there are too many people abuse the freedom since there are some sort of degree of anonymity which can be used to hide and give an illusion of minimum consequences.

In the US, the election causes too much hatred between two competing sides. Each side generalizes the opposing side with such negative verdicts. Although, to be fair, I don’t live in the US so I just read and watch news about it.

However, I am guessing those news are the facts because I also experienced it in Indonesia two years earlier when we were also having a presidential election with just two candidates.

This is also happening now in Indonesia because of the upcoming governor election. Racism and religion issues are abused because of the incumbent governor comes from the minority.

Maybe it’s just politics and politics always plays dirty.

But then, there is also a trend in user’s behavior in reading news. Many people just like to comment even before reading the article entirely.

Sometimes, they also put irrelevant comments if there is no rules or moderation which is also abused by spam / marketing promoting irrelevant products.

There is also a problem with baseless and irresponsible opinions.

This is just one example. I found out recently in a Facebook group where there is someone said that a particular type of a product is bad. When another person asked why, the first person said, “I don’t really understand that but it’s bad…

I don’t know. Maybe it’s just me that feels the irony. Maybe it’s just my stupid brain asking too many questions.

On one side, I really believe that freedom of expression is one of the most fundamental human rights. However, I see that this freedom becomes too wild and causes too much hatred – which I hate – which is another irony I think.

I even think this article is also the irony because my freedom of expression contradicts those freedoms of expression I mentioned earlier.

I mean do I really have the right to constraint the hatred speech, the irresponsible opinions, the lazy-to-read comments?

Well, I could easily remove those types from my feeds or just outright refuse to read but that means I ignoring their freedom – although, one might argue that it’s my right to ignore it without removing their right to say whatever they want.

Honestly, I don’t know and maybe I will never decide it – because maybe one day I just ignore it…

Jakarta, 16 November 2016

Yabes Elia

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